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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bodega Bay Beat - January 2012

Holidays are times of joy and of stress.  Families are wonderful; families are stressful.  Sumptuous meals are delightful; excessive caloric intake is stressful.  We struggle to allocate our time so that happy memories are being made.  Sometimes you won’t know for an entire generation whether or not you have succeeded.

Whether you celebrate the holidays before year-end, or wait for the wisemen and exchange gifts on January 6, as long as we remember Good King Wenceslas and pledge to help the poor this year, we can light the fire, sit back and relax with the good memories of 2011.

Last month we were lucky enough to see a spectacular lunar eclipse. At about 5:30 a.m. the moon turned an orange color.  Reflected in the placid low tide, it was incredible. Even the owl in the high pine sang its praise.

One of the best memories has to be of Bodega Bay, as a community, coming together December 10 to sing Christmas carols.  Nearly 70 people crowded into the Grange Hall to sing.  Neighbors came from ALL the neighborhoods, from Jenner to Valley Ford.  Everybody came to sing—and sing they did—in English and Spanish. The Little Drummer Boys, Joshua and Isaac Collins were a great hit. The costumed Conners lifted spirits.  After the scheduled program, MORE was the call and more carols were sung.  When Let There Be Peace on Earth was added, there were few dry eyes, as the group sang so beautifully. Reluctantly the neighbors adjourned to consume the delicious desserts the Fisherman’s Chapel had provided, and to TALK to each other about OUR community; OUR school; OUR churches.

After the usual negotiation, crab season opened.  It looks like a good one. Last year the Bodega Bay fishermen took out 19,000,000 pounds of crab. Even so, apparently enough crabs were left to provide a good catch this year. Protecting the stock is important. Plentitude is an invitation to overfish. We are still working to restore the salmon and protect their habitat.

We are thankful for our families and for health.  Personally, I am thankful that my dog regained her health so that she could continue herding us around in her best Aussie tradition.  Once your children are grown and busy with their own lives, pets assume an even greater role in your life. (She even wrote a book, The Life and Travels of a Law Office Dog (Amazon.) The Humane Society can use your help to support animals left in their care.

We are thankful for all the people who work hard for Bodega Bay .  The Bundys work to get the Community Center back into full use; they dedicate countless hours to the Cabaret—a wonderful program.  The tireless workers Jim Moore, Rod Moore and David Lewis, have dedicated countless hours improving the Grange Hall.  Even the Loving Care Floor Committee has pitched in.  Many work diligently year round to make the Grange cioppino feed a success. Kudos to Janet Ames, Ida Moore ,Donzil Gentry and Kathy Durand. January 15 go enjoy the pure bliss of all you can eat crab. If you haven’t already bought your ticket, call the Grange Hall now.

Education Is Valued in Bodega Bay.
Our community pitches in to help kids get an education.  Thirty three local businesses made contributions to help raise money for college scholarships. Joan Scoggins and the Grange did a great job.  The community is also supports the Bodega Bay School.  The Parents’co-op makes tamales to support the after school program; a Christmas party celebrates the diversity of the school with a Spanish-speaking Santa.   Fisherman’s Chapel donates a free breakfast to each student; the entire community donates food and clothing; locals like JoAnn and Ben Bray, volunteer to help.

 We all do what we can. Charitable donations have fallen. Need has risen. Politicians wiggle and waffle about everything from adultery to immigration.  Concise platforms are rare, except the Republican one of “Get Obama.”  But hope remains eternal.  Maybe sanity will win out nationally like it has locally.

In the meantime, go see the Cabaret, February 25, eat crab January 15 and prepare for the Russian anniversary celebrations coming with the tall ships in April. ( March 15 is the 200th anniversary of the Russians coming to Port Rumiantsev en route to Ft. Ross. Stay tuned for Russian celebrations.)

One of the saddest statistic developed by Occupy Wall Street, is how few people actually vote (fewer than 25% in San Francisco.)  If you really want change, pick good candidates and  whenever you get the chance, VOTE. In the meantime